Document Type


Publication Date

January 2011

Publication Title

Urban Library Journal


American Popular Culture | Library and Information Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The first-year experience at any university library sets the foundation for the future relationship between the new faculty member and the library as a whole. Not only is the librarian being acculturated to the organization, but he or she must decide if the library and university will provide a supportive environment for his or her career goals. In this probationary process, the tenured librarians evaluate their tenure-track colleagues’ professional progression and merit.

Many libraries institute a formal first-year mentoring program in order to facilitate the immersion of new faculty members into the organizational culture of the library and university. There are excellent examples of flourishing mentorship programs in libraries, but one can also find examples of informal mentoring that aids in the success of tenure-track faculty.

This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of various forms of library mentorship and how one can make the most of being mentored in diverse university settings.